The other day, I caught the episode where Richman picked his West Coast winner. Not surprisingly, the three sandwiches featured on the show came from San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. The San Diego sandwich was eventually picked the best on the West Coast. It came from Phil’s BBQ and — are you ready for this, Fresnans? — was a tri-tip sandwich.
As I wrote in my Friday Bee column last week, I recently celebrated my 10-year anniversary as a Fresnan. Also, my sister just accepted a job and moved here. Both had me thinking back to being a Fresno newb and exploring the city for the first time.
In my case, I was luck to meet some cool peeps who took me to some under-the-radar jewels of the city. In my sister’s case, my wife and I are trying to introduce her to the best Fresno has to offers.
So, of course, one of the first places we took her for dinner was Dusty Buns Bistro (pictured). As we drove home that night, remarking how wonderful Dusty Buns was as always, I tried to pin down a list of five local eateries a Fresno newb needs to experience. My list — for a variety of food types and experiences — would include Dusty Buns (so good), Doghouse Grill (a staple), Keith’s Box Car Cafe (my current addiction), La Elegante (tacos to die for) and Me-N-Ed’s (it’s a Fresno icon). I’m not saying these are the five best restaurants in town, rather these are five that I’d want to share because they’re interesting, historic, trending, etc.
I figured this would also make a good blog topic. So I turn it over to you all: What are the five local eateries you’d recommend a new Fresnan taste immediately?
But Fresno did get another wing spot, one that I hope will be better than Wing Stop (meh). BWW’s opening also makes the Shaw/Chestnut intersection, which it shares with across-the-street neighbor Doghouse Grill one of the most hellacious for parking — especially while we all go wild during BWW’s honeymoon phase.
This got me thinking about how much we Fresno folks love new chain restaurants, which is just a tad bit more than the we Fresno folks love to put down those chain-worshippers. It’s a pretty amusing co-dependent relationship.
So here’s the question: How long until you try out Buffalo Wild Wings? I know people on various sides of this — the people who have to try new places ASAP and will wait for hours to do so, the people who wait a month or so for the crowds to die down and the people who wear their disinterest like a badge of honor. Vote below:
A similar topic came up recently in a discussion with my wife: If you’re a celeb traveling from city to city and you can have pretty much whatever you want, would you try local places or stick to chains, where you know where you’re going to get? You know my answer. But maybe Apolo Ohno would happily hit up Cheesecake Factorys all across the land. For what it’s worth: I would have sent him to La Elegante.